Can you handle the Truth?

The term “One Version of the Truth” is often overused in the IT space, but intended to describe accessibility to accurate information as it relates to Business Intelligence within the enterprise. The need for this elusive “One Version” manifests itself as the result of having multiple discrete and disconnected systems within the organization to handle very specific business functions. This may include such systems as;

  • Financial systems,
  • Forecasting,
  • Web Store,
  • Order Management,
  • Manufacturing Execution,
  • Warehouse Management,
  • and Transportation Management.

 

How Did We Get Here?

The question is…how did we get to this place of requiring all of these unique and specialized systems to perform our job?

The natural evolution of technology has led us to where we are today, a spider’s web of systems and information exchange via cobbled together batch and “near real-time” interfaces. In IT, when there is a need for more control, visibility, accuracy, efficiency, etc., that need gets designed, developed, and plugged with a new system. Over time this “build it” philosophy has led to the multitude of different types of systems that are necessary to run an enterprise. The issue is that this best of breed attitude creates a vast data puzzle across the organization, forcing all of these data pieces to be put back together in a very precise arrangement to create A TRUE VIEW OF INFORMATION.

The provisional solution to this system jigsaw architecture has been to build yet another application that umbrellas all of your enterprise solutions to mine and aggregate information into yet another database so that it can be uniformly presented to the executive team. However, this is delayed information being aggregated, old information is the same thing as bad information in a real-time transactional operation, you are making decisions in the past, not about what is happening in the present or better yet, what may happen in the future.

Colonel Jessop played by Jack Nicholson in the movie A Few Good Men said it best when provoked by U.S. Navy lawyer Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise); “You can’t handle the truth!”

I stand with Col. Jessup on this belief, creating One Version of the Truth in a multiple best of breed systems; multi-database world is a daunting task and one that most organizations “can’t handle” and constantly struggle with.

Are we stuck with what we have?

Do we need to stay on that wall of Col. Jessup’s and keep fighting the fight in search of unified data in the current world of duplicate master data and interfaces?
The answer is NO!

Technology evolves faster than any other aspect of our world, and there are pivotal points in history that redefine and reshape the future. In technology we can point to many such examples; the evolution of the smart phone took multiple best of breed solutions in the form of phone, calculator, email, social media, music player, internet browser, shopping/ price comparison, GPS and unified them into a singular device. A single solution that provides you with real-time decision making tools and answers at your fingertips, information when you need it to make important and informed decisions such as where is the nearest Starbucks and how do I get there.

Enterprise systems must also follow this evolution and move towards the creation of a powerful and agile business through a very simple philosophy; everyone within the global enterprise work from One Version of the Truth; a single customer master, product master, order file; inventory view, transactions, shipment file, etc. Business is real-time, organizations can no longer afford to act and react in a batch delayed fashion. Instant access to up to date and accurate information is the cornerstone of intelligent decision making and empowers every employee across the enterprise. With One Version of the Truth, customer service and sales groups have real-time access to available inventory during order entry, and shipment status while on the phone with a high priority customer. No longer does the process need to be interrupted to pick up the phone and call the warehouse, or log into a separate best of breed system to access information.

This enterprise evolution takes you beyond a transactional system and into the paradigm of a Business Process Platform; a real-time decision making platform that synchronizes information and processes across the entire enterprise to empower and simplify. Monitor, communicate, notify, and execute based on events across all aspects of your business. The fundamental requirement to achieve this level of evolution is to provide immediate access to accurate and validate data when it is required regardless of which representative, department, facility is requiring it.

Platforms that Evolve Technology

The Microsoft Dynamics AX platform provides the capabilities to evolve the technology by extending and adding best of breed capabilities within a common framework, user experience, and data model. The Supply Chain Suite for Dynamics AX is a progressive example of how the Microsoft Dynamics AX solution has been naturally extended to provide advanced logistics and distribution capabilities in the areas of

  • Warehouse Management,
  • Transportation Management,
  • and Supplier Management.

The Supply Chain Suite for Dynamics AX allows manufacturing and distribution organizations to achieve “One Version of the Truth” across their global enterprise in a business simple and powerful approach.

Learn more about these advanced supply chain solutions:  Warehousing for Dynamics AX, Transportation for Dynamics AX, Vendor Portal (Supplier Management).